Top personality trait of a web designer

The cool thing about hiring me as your web designer is you don’t need to know where to start. I’ll tell you.

In my old life at a civil engineering firm, I got paid to nag. PAID. TO. NAG. Tell me that isn’t a job you’ve dreamed of.

10 years of earning a paycheque from nagging Project Managers to follow procedures, do this, do that and it kind of just gets ingrained in you, you know?

All you need to do is make the first connection. Here on my website, or via phone. From there I will walk you through all the next steps which typically look like this.

1. Review quote
2. Agree to quote, sign contract and pay 40% deposit
3. Compile allllll the things I ask for, this will include logins (if you already have a domain and/or hosting and a website), images (if you are providing), and content (if you are providing)

Then I totally take it from there, you just sit back, have a coffee and do what you do best – run your business. I’ll send you draft 1 and you’ll review it with a fine toothed comb and give me allllll the changes you’d like to see. I do them.

And repeat, two more times.

We launch.

You settle up the bill.

I send you the Project Hand-off document which includes all the details of your site – versions of WordPress and the theme, colour codes used, fonts used, image sizes used.

AND a manual so you are equipped to do your own content updates!

So now we have that dealt with, you know exactly where to start and I’ll leave it in your hands.

Know your brand

You need a website. That’s a for sure.

But when?

What goes on it?

When do you reach out to me?

HOW do you even start this process?

It’s important to know your brand before this part of your marketing begins. And I mean knoooow your brand. Don’t get hung up that it is forever, because brands grow and evolve over time, and so should they, but know who you want to connect with and who you want your clients to be.

Know your brand. 

What does that even mean?

  • What’s your voice?
  • Who are your ideal clients? If you say everyone, you have more work to do. ?
  • Is the tone straight up conversational or all out business? How do you want to connect with your people?
  • What feel does your brand portray? What impression is it giving your site viewers or storefront visitors?
  • If you asked other people what they thought your brand was, what would they say? It may give you a good idea if you are hitting the mark, or not.

You really can’t have a website – a $999 one, or a $150,000 one without a clear understanding of who you are as a business and who your clients are.

Spend the time and do the work. I promise you it will be worth it!

BUT…don’t let it paralyze you. Websites are mean to be fluid, to grow and change just as your business does.


And if you need help, reach out. I’ll fire 9 million questions at you that will help you get there.

You have your website, now what?

YAY!!! We launched your site! Watch the site visitors and clients come rolling in!

Slow down cowboy.

Launching a site does not automatically generate site visitors….I mean really, yesterday you weren’t on the internet and ping – all your potential customers get a notification you are now? Sorry friends, as wonderful as that would be, that is not a reality. You need to tell people you are out there! And not once, not twice, but on the regular. Tell them on Instagram, tell them on Facebook, tell them on LinkedIn. Yell it randomly in the streets. Update ALL your profiles everywhere on the world wide web to include a link to your site.

And as a side, ditch the www if you’ve hired me to do a site. It’s 2020 and we don’t need the www in front of your domain, it makes you look old, haha! For instance, I’d be sharing – not – see? I look 10 years younger already!

Think about these listings…

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Social Profiles
  • Organizations you are listed with, can you add your website to your profile now?
  • Marketing Material – your website should be on ALL your marketing material (without the www remember)

Your website is 100% your marketing toolkit, but it can’t market itself.

Consider running Facebook ads for your new site.

Blast it E V E R Y W H E R E.

Build it and they will come? Absolutely, but you still have to install the signs so they can find their way there ?.


Need more direction? Sign up for my Random BS newsletter and get a free checklist on marketing your site!






How to hire a web designer

Here’s the problem with hiring a web designer.

Most people don’t know what questions to ask and whether or not they are comparing apples to apples, or apples to tomatoes. Because tomatoes are the most confusing fruit ever…RIGHT?!

  • You need to know what they are building it in – WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, Wix, Squarespace?
  • You need to know what the monthly and/or yearly costs are going to be.
  • You need to know what information they are going to provide you with in the project handoff – do you get ALL the logins? Access to your domain? Your hosting?
  • Do they provide maintenance? Or do they deliver and wave goodbye from a safe distance?
  • Where will the site be hosted?
  • What kind of steps do they take for google visibility?
  • Do they explain their process?

It can seem overwhelming…but if you know the questions to ask you can go in knowing what’s what and make the most informed decision on what makes the most sense for your business.

Want a detailed checklist of questions? Here you go, and if you want to run these by me, I’m totally ready. ?

My site sucks, can you fix it?

Turns out your aunt’s second cousin twice removed didn’t really come through on whipping you up a professional website and you’re already $1,000 in. gulp. Time to cut your losses and get someone to take it and make it the beautiful online presence you envisioned. Surely this wasn’t a complete waste of dollar bills.

Here’s the straight up, no BS answer you’ll get from me – I don’t take over other’s work. It’s not where I’m at in business, and it’s messy. So messy. I used to do it in the early days for business out of desperation for work, but it really is the worst job and doesn’t bring the best results.

This doesn’t mean it’s the end of the website game for you. It’s probably the end of that $1,000 for you, but the lesson is learned, and I will be sure you are confident in the process of working with Unlimited BS and exactly what I will deliver before we move ahead.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you know already this site is going nowhere, shake it off and start fresh. Now you know better, the questions to ask, the proof of work to see via a portfolio, and a contract that displays good faith and commitment to a smooth project that will leave you with the website you can be proud to send your clients, (and potential clients!) to.

Quotes are free. We typically would meet for a quick coffee (30-40 minutes) and review your project. I’ll send you a no obligation quote from there and you’ll always have the opportunity to ask more questions.

It sucks to hand over cash for an unfinished vision. I have done it too and that’s why I will assure you that the trust you place in me will be worth it.

Does this post resonate with you? Feel free to reach out, tell me where things are at with your site, and how I can help.


Also, no disrespect to your aunt’s second cousin twice removed.

How much is this going to cost me?

How much is this going to cost me? Straight to the awkward question, because awkward is what I do best.

Unlimited BS works with small to mid-sized businesses and non profits – starting up to scaling your business. I chose that niche because I LOVE the enthusiasm of new ventures and the excitement of taking your business from one level to the next. It’s palpable.

So I’m your match if you fall in that category. I understand the budget restraints, but I also have the knowledge, experience, and skills to provide a website that will get you business.

And the awkward answer? You are looking at a starting cost of between $5,000-$7,500. And that can run upwards of $15,000. Ya, that’s a big range, but sites differ so much in what they involve, features they have, whether or not you are selling products on your site, and how much you are providing to the process (content, images, etc.)

I take on a maximum of 2 clients per month. So if you are considering a site, and I’m booking a couple months out, now is a good time to reach out. We can meet (in person or virtual) and chat about your business. You’ll get a free detailed quote and then can decide if you want to book and get in the calendar.

So what are you getting for this investment?

  • a mobile friendly, USER friendly website that works in all modern browsers.
  • a website properly set up so it can grow with your business and continue to function properly for years to come so you aren’t looking at a rebuild every few years
  • a website you are proud to send your clients to.
  • a presence on the internet that makes you stand out from your competitors because it speaks to your niche, your demographic, your people.
  • a web designer that works WITH you, and continues to do so well after your site is launched.

Trust me, I get the challenges of starting out, and of taking your business up a level. I’ve been there. I know it’s scary and I know it’s freaky making the investment. But at almost 9 years in, I can tell it’s totally worth it.

Take the first step and at least know what your project is going to cost. No obligation. Shoot me a message via email at, or set up a discovery call below and let’s take that first step!

What’s your problem, and how can I fix it?

That is what it all boils down to in the grand scheme of marketing your business, isn’t it?

What is your solution to someone’s problem?

  • Are you providing a product that eases a pain point in their life?
  • Are you providing a service that removes something from their plate, making their life easier? More productive?
  • Are you saving them money?

Frame your website’s purpose with just that question, “What is your problem, and how can I fix it?” Look at your ideal customers through that lens and you will be able to make the emotional connection that makes the sale.

What does that look like?

  • Making sure your marketing is aimed at your ideal customer’s pain points, make them see you as the solution they have been needing.
  • Make it part of your business motto, maybe your tagline, or your mission statement. “We make your kids LOVE picking up after themselves with our one step program” <—because that would be dreamy, right? SIGN ME UP. That’s a problem I want solved and you nailed it right there, in your tagline. Gold.
  • And 100% make it apparent in all your web content, here’s how:

About page:

Whether you despise talking about yourself, or maybe you love sharing your hobbies, your kids, your adventures a weeeeee bit too much ?, this section can be overwhelming to some. They get caught up in telling their readers about them.

Wait…what? Isn’t the About section meant to be about you?

Not really. To put it harshly, no one cares about you, haha! They care about about how you can help them. Frame it in that context on you’re well on your way!

Services page:

Lay it out, dumb it down! Don’t assume people know your lingo, know your product, know what you do. The more straight forward you can make your content to digest, the more likely you will engage them enough to take the next step – which equates to business for you.

Don’t be too broad, consider your market, and keep who are you trying to reach at top of mind. How do they absorb content? In what tone?

Give them enough information about your service or product that they feel like they’ve got a good handle what you or your product/service can do for them.

Because remember… That's what people ultimately know what you can do for them. How is your product or service going to benefit them? Click To Tweet

Contact page:

Don’t forget to remind them that you are the solution! Site visitors might be coming only for your contact information so don’t lose that opportunity to tell them how you can help.  Think of your contact page as your connection page – connect them to you!

There’s many ways to communicate how you can help your target audience. Always remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them and go forth and give them the solutions!!


So, now you know how businesses are targeting you, here’s my question for you…

What is your problem, and how can I fix it?




Top 10 Small Business Tools to take you into 2020

Eight years of business and I’m going to say I’ve learned a thing or ten. I’ve tested processes, failed, and tried again. So here it is, my attempt at saving you some grief of eventually finding GOOD resources to keep things on track, organized, and less stressy. Here’s your shortcut! A list of things I use regularly and would recommend for any entrepreneur starting out, or even years in and still struggling to find the right tools.

Something you should know: I 100% recommend all these and do not get any kickback for pushing them, EXCEPT for Flywheel and GSuite, I have affiliate links for them. If the others would like to send me dollar bills for mentioning them, I’m here, throw it at me.

Business Tools

These are recommendations that would fit any business, not web design specific at all.



Me, every year end: “Ok, this entering nine million things sucks, I’m going to enter my stuff every week this year! New year, new me.”

Me, every April: “shit.”

Although clearly I’m not a fan of accounting, I’m still in mad love with Wave. Mostly because when I started 8 years ago, I created my invoices in Word which was time consuming and never really left me with any reporting, nothing to look back on, nothing but more paper. Now I have my stuff set up in wave, invoicing is quick and painless. I can see when the client has viewed the invoice, I can send reminders, receipts for payment, all the things. Saves me some bucks at tax time too as I can print off my reports and send to our bookkeeper. Wave can do MUCH more than this, I just haven’t taken advantage of yet – online payments, sync with bank account, estimate creation, and probably more. You can take a picture of your receipt and have it auto-upload as a transaction!

Price: free for basic, all I use at the moment

Check out Wave Paid Plans




I used to have my email through GoDaddy. Didn’t know I wasn’t a fan until I changed to GSuite. SO MUCH BETTER. No overage warnings, I can access easily from anywhere, it’s reliable, and after changing a couple of my habits in it’s layout, way more manageable..

Price: I pay $7/month for basic
Promo codes: G Suite Basic Plan: PALNWQY6F4N7XDH | G Suite Business Plan: E4N44C6NTRFPWGH

Each promotion code provides 20% off the first year on either G Suite Basic plan or G Suite Business plan.

Get it


Project Management

Evernote. I love you. So much.

Early on, EVERYTHING was in a journal. Literally everything. Every note about a client, every login, every design element, every maintenance update, every thing. I flipped around a lot. And rewrote it more times than I care to admit because I love me a new journal. After reading this post on setting up for my line of work specifically, I went all in. Now I can EASILY access all my info, and keep great records of my history with clients, what level of maintenance they are signed up for, emails I want to keep, web grabs of design elements or colours I’m inspired by, EVERYTHING. Love, love. Can’t say enough and really I still don’t use it to its full potential. You can use it for organizing your personal life too.

Price: free for basic and I totally recommend starting out there.

Check out Evernote Paid Plans


Time Management

This is a big one, with a few recommendations. It may be a sign I sometimes struggle with it.


A friend recommended this while doing work for me. She tracked all her time and submitted detailed invoices to me for payment. Awesome for 2 reasons.

  1. I’m getting better at invoicing properly for my time and
  2. It has been significant in keeping me on task! Once that timer is running, I need to stick to one thing. That means less bouncing around to other tasks, or social media.

Price: free for basic (unless you have a team, you only need free!) It looks like their are only paid plans, but there is free, it’s just kind of hidden, snoop around.

Check out Toggl Paid Plans


Strict Workflow

This is an extension I added to my chrome browser. I’m sure you can find for every browser out there, search for “Pomodoro Time Tracking”…unless you are using Internet Explorer, in which case google “get a new browser”.

If you find yourself wasting your time, YOUR LIFE, on social media or random sites that are doing nothing for your brain, install this. Once you’ve hit it once, you’ll be on track for the day. It blocks any urls (sites) you set up so you can’t visit them for 25 minutes. It’s borderline frightening when you first use this and repeatedly try to load twitter or Facebook and it tells you to get back to work – it’s such a habit that even though you’ve just set the timer, you still click to check. Gross. Anyway, try this. Report back. Don’t worry, after the 25 minutes, the tomato turns green and you get 5 minutes to piss around on any site you want. Then it’ll ring at you and you’re back to 25 minutes work and blocked elsewhere. And repeat, although you will likely just find you are in the groove of work now and don’t need it.

Price: free

Download on Chrome



Holy jeez. I’m not sure how I ever went without this. Thank you to a twitter peep who introduced me to this one! I have SO SO MANY passwords and logins it would make your head spin. I used to keep them all in a journal and flip to the page EVERY SINGLE TIME. Now, 1Password saves me so much time it’s crazy. And secure. I have these passwords now: 41jjT3!3*oG28llL30)O2@58…you get the idea. I pay yearly, it’s under $60 and well worth it.

I had a few issues setting it up, but once it’s done, it’s done. And the saving of your sanity begins.

Price: varies, they have personal, family, team, and business options

Check out 1Password Paid Plans


Design Hack


I recommend this ALL THE TIME. Need a social media share image, maybe with some text overlay, or something a little more creative than you can pull off? Canva is your answer. So many templates to choose from and if you get the paid version, your options open up. You can resize your same design for different social media channels, set up your brand’s fonts and colours, all the things. The more time you spend in there, the more comfortable you will get and you’ll be banging out posts that look nice from here until eternity…or until the next thing comes along 😉

Price: free for basic

Check out Canva Paid Plans


Website Business Tools

What I use and love.



THE BOMB. I’ve progressed over the years. GoDaddy in my early years of web design, to WP Engine which was amazing WordPress specific hosting but the cost got too outrageous for me, to FlyWheel! I have my very own person there always looking out for me and giving me suggestions on ways to do things differently, better, save money, etc. Initially I saw WP Engine as a superior hosting company, but FlyWheel has advanced significantly since I signed up a few years ago. Staging environments, SSL certificates, daily backups, all the features. There is not much lacking now, they add features on the regular to make my life managing 50+ sites easier. I really enjoy their newsletter too – Layout – one of the few I won’t unsubscribe from on Black Friday. (side note: Flywheel has actually joined forces with WPEngine, but my prices didn’t change, yay!)

Price: varies, single site $23USD/month

Check out Flywheel




You know I think this is just a comfort thing for me. I started with GoDaddy, find their interface easy for DNS/domain settings and have just stuck with them for my domains. Having said that – DON’T LET YOUR WEB DESIGNER PUT YOUR DOMAIN UNDER THEIR ACCOUNT – get your own!! Your domain should always be under your business’s account. Otherwise it WILL be a pain in the ass down the road, I can pretty much guarantee that.

Price: varies depending on domain and if you want to add privacy. Add privacy 🙂

Check out GoDaddy domains


Design Hack


You ever see a font and think I LOVE THAT SO MUCH but you don’t want to spend 10 years trying to figure it out? This chrome browser extension gives you the goods. Install. Click on it and hover over the text. Boom. I often see posters, or signage or things when I’m out that I wish I knew the fonts, the number of pictures on my phone of inspiration is out of control, at least this gives me some satisfaction when I see something online that catches my eye.

Price: free

Download WhatFont on Chrome


Event Management

Two extra recommendations for running events. A couple of randoms from my old life of planning social media breakfasts…here’s what made planning them a breeze! Like not a light breeze, but a manageable breeze ?

Team Communication


Communication desktop and smartphone app for a team. SO IDEAL. You can start different channels for different topics, send private messages to a single or side group of team members, video chat (I have yet to find a better video chat thing I like) everything. Here’s the hard truth people: email chains SUCK AND NO ONE LIKES GETTING ROPED INTO ONE. Get Slack and never do that again. With this recommendation, keep in mind that you need all team members on board with participating on this or you aren’t getting anywhere using it.

Price: free for basic, all I’ve used

Check out Slack Paid Plans




I’ve had recommendations for using Trello for website design. Not a fan. It’s just not productive for me. However, using it to plan out an event is a huge yes. I used it to plan out the year of sponsors, speakers, locations, breakfasts, it really saved my life. It’s free, user friendly, and you can have a team on it so everyone is in the loop and can document in one place. Simple to use.

Price: free for basic, all you need in my opinion

Check out Trello Paid Plans


By the time I finished this, I thought of other things I use but top 10 is going to have to cover it for now. Good luck! And if you try any of these, let me know your thoughts.

Here’s to a prosperous, well organized, and less stressy 2020!


The Power of Communities

In spring of 2015, I was asked to keynote the AGORA Conference at Red Deer College. Now that Tad Hargrave of Marketing for Hippies, the inspiration behind my talk is coming to Red Deer on Thursday, I’ve finally been inspired to put it into a blog post. Here it is…

When I was first asked to speak here I was mad…then excited…then full of insecurities. I mean I’m not an expert in anything really, what the hell can I share? Ya, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m passionate about business, marketing, social media and volunteering, but I’m not leader in any of those mediums.

So I sat down and started writing with the intention that I’m going to inspire you guys to walk out of here and change all the things. To be leaders. To make an impact on the world.

You’re off the hook 🙂

My goal today is much simpler and truer to who I am, and it’s been the foundation of every single thing I’ve accomplished and am proud of in my adult life.

My goal is for you to walk out of here I don’t know…maybe inspired isn’t the right word, but compelled to find your communities and get involved. In something. Anything. And in any capacity.

The Power of Communities.

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say communities?

When I asked on Twitter I got #12SeasonsandaMovie. I also got similar responses – groups with a common interest, support network, and my favourite:

“Community, to me, is a by-product of the decision to be involved, to participate, to reach out to others, it’s the inevitable result.”

My first thought that comes to mind when I say communities, is my hometown. I grew up in Munson…which is a tiny dot on the map. A small village between Drumheller and Morrin. Our little farming community ate, slept, breathed community. We played sports together, went to school together, had concerts, potlucks and even a lot of our parents grew up together. Everybody knew Everybody. Which is awesome right? Until you’re a teenager, then not so awesome.

I still feel deeply rooted in that community, it’s my base, my hometown…that I never want to go back to, but take comfort in knowing it’s still there. That community is invested in me too. Have a baby, get married (or vice versa in my case) they’ll throw you a shower and celebrate. And they’re there for the shit parts too – the deaths, the hardships, the losses – they’re invested in you and genuinely want to witness your life play out. I think because that sense of community has been so instilled in me my whole life, I always search out communities to be a part of in any capacity.

Where do you find your people? Your communities?

Let’s start with online.

Online Communities

Favourites – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn groups, maybe you find your people on Tinder.

Man I LOVE the social media. My husband doesn’t think 40K tweets is worthy of much, but I’m here to tell you it IS worthy of something…it gave me connections, a community to build my business.

How many here are on twitter? DO YOU LOVE IT? DO YOU FOLLOW ME? @BrendaSarg … go tweet me.

You can find ANYTHING on twitter. Marketing experts, Big Brands, educators, moms, start-ups, seniors, even Grumpy Cat is on twitter. Even if starting a business isn’t in your future plans, it still has its benefits. Connections. In various avenues that you may not even have thought of, or may not even be of value to you…yet. Ya, there is a ton of bullshit to sift through, but there is a ton of opportunity to learn…about your city, town, your politicians, your non-profits and even what events are happening  – locally and globally. Twitter is my google, I’ve gotten to trust some of my community enough that if they recommend a business or service to me, I trust it’s a good recommendation.

Opportunity. I can’t say it enough…all communities bring opportunity. Knowledge, growth, support…and tons more.

Shortly after I started twitter I was considering a career change, I had tweeted back and forth with a guy who owned his own web design company. I tweeted him one day (never met in real life) and asked him if I could meet with him and pick his brain. Once you feel part of a community…you open the opportunity for asks.

I was working at a civil engineering firm and had offered to do a site for a gym owner…NO CLUE what I was getting in to, zero experience, no skills. And I did it. Then I did another one for a few bucks.

Two websites. Two.

My 3 year old was in daycare at the time and I was just really needing to get him out of there. I came home one Friday, stood in front of my husband’s moving lawn tractor and shouted “I WANT TO QUIT MY JOB AND DESIGN WEBSITES”.

Well, he didn’t run me over and for some crazy reason agreed that I should pack in my 10 and a half year, well paying career and try to be a web designer.

Because you know…2 websites.

I took to twitter. Set up a business twitter account so I could continue being a smartass on my personal one and reel in the customers on the other.

I lasted one week I think. Couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be dry and super professional or I’d be building a false community, a community of people I probably wasn’t even going to enjoy because they were attracted to fake always-super-sweet-and-positive-don’t-disagree-with-anyone me.

Change of plans. I decided at that moment that I’m my brand. I wasn’t confident enough to really pimp my services anyway so I just connected with people AS ME. Engaged. Talked about stuff I was interested in. There is ALWAYS someone on Twitter that has thought your same thought, has been through what you have, or who can offer valuable advice. In time…your community builds. Your support system grows. You have that base…people invested in you who want to see you succeed and will be ambassadors for your business. Sales people that you don’t have to put on payroll – awesome!

I always say twitter built my business. And it did. It taught me a ton, helped me figure out and target my demographic, to meet local industry leaders, and build mutually beneficial relationships with them, and put resources in front of me I never knew existed.

That community built Unlimited BS. By referring me, investing in me with their businesses themselves, and maybe they got something out if it too…being a part of a new business making it. That feels good to be involved in. My online community supported me.

Can’t bring yourself to jump in and talk to perfect strangers online? Ya…it’s weird. I get that.

How about build your own community? You know what you like, what gets you jacked up. Volunteer somewhere. There are a million opportunities to volunteer. Seriously…ridiculous amount of opportunities. Check out Volunteer Central. Or just think of what you like doing, and do it with, or for, someone else. Boom.

I guarantee there are others out there that want to be part of whatever that is. GUARANTEE! And the great thing about volunteering…you’re only going to do it if it’s something you believe in. And others will do it with the same motive.

Why is that awesome? You will be making connections with people that are in line with your values. You never know what kind of opportunity that will bring. In your personal life, your career, your life.

When Ronald McDonald House opened in Red Deer in 2012 my girlfriend asked if I wanted to help her put on a dinner there. They have dinner groups that purchase supper for the families staying there, cook them supper and clean up after. To give them a break in their stress-filled days. She had stayed at another RMH when her daughter has having surgery and said it took a load off. She could focus on her daughter and not providing dinner for the rest of her young family.

So we put it up on Facebook to see if we could get 6 other people interested. HOLY! Ya..I think we had around 40 people wanting to help.

That community of cooks to prepare meals, sponsors to pay for dinner made itself. Before the first dinner, we had decided to form a facebook group named – Real Housewives of Red Deer, a place for people to sign up to join us to cook every time we had a sponsor step up with the money. Three years later, we had over 200 members, and most I’ve never met. It’s individuals who want to be involved, but either are new to Red Deer, don’t have the funds to put on one of their own, or just aren’t able to round up 7 other people to cook with them.

These strangers…these people I’ve never met, built our community. Without people signing up meal after meal, or sponsors offering to send money to purchase a dinner, RHRD would not exist. Us Real Housewives of Red Deer would be sitting at home watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills instead of offering up a reprieve to hurting families and making a difference.

A community of volunteers.

Networking Communities

Like it or not, in the business world, you’ve got to embrace networking. Ugh. Networking to me has always meant suits blowing smoke up one another’s asses while looking at their phones.

But you have to do it. You have to make connections to move your business forward.

Is anyone familiar with Social Media Breakfast Red Deer?

So what we do is we get together for 2 hours once a month, have a speaker, and it’s attended by local business owners, marketing and communications managers, city employees, and everything in between. Generally people wanting to hear what works and what doesn’t for others in their city and industry. Sharing of ideas. And not just small business either, bigger corporations and non-profits also are involved. A community doesn’t have to be the same demographic… all you need is one common interest or goal.

After its second meeting, I was asked if I’d like to join the Steering Committee. I did…super hesitant, but felt like I needed to get involved to get more connections…and get my name out. I joined and then they all quit…one by one. And ya, I’m delusional enough to believe it had nothing to do with me 🙂 We went through a number of challenges, committee members, and I nearly shut it down twice because it was just too much. I wanted this community of people, but didn’t feel like I was giving them the value I should have been. FINALLY we got the right group. There are 3 of us now and we just work [5 now!]. We’re inspired, we’re motivated, we’re figuring out who’s talents lie where and how to trust those talents.

We just held our 24th event on Thursday and it was awesome. [40th now!]

And our community is making it blow up.

Me by myself? I would have packed it in, without a doubt. Yes, we were still getting the people to the events, but the value was slipping. Thankfully…that group of people had faith in us and wanted this to work…now, we’ve got this. We’ll supply value again. We’re invested in them, and they are invested in us. I think that is what makes a community a community. Being invested.

So I’m going to wrap up with this post I came across on the Marketing for Hippies blog.


He prefaces the story talking about the woman born over 100 years ago. She was a teacher, a wife and mom to 3. At that time, female teachers were not allowed to work while they were married, so she had to give up her job. She was heavily involved in the church and instilled deep levels of self-respect in her 3 children.

Tragically, the church that held and heard the voices of her father, husband, and son – who all served as pastors there – also echoed the sudden, loud, sickening sound of the gunshot that took her life inside its walls six years after her son was murdered for speaking not only his mind, but the minds of so many others.

He then goes into how there is so much pressure to change the world, that everywhere we turn there are messages, speakers, pinterest posts with inspirational quotes on some majestic backdrop telling us we are meant for bigger. BE BIGGER. Impact the world. And ya, I see that all the time. Spend 2 minutes on Pinterest or Facebook and you’re inundated with it.

That you need to be a hero to affect social change.

Bullshit. You need to be a part of things…communities, not a part from.

We’re told, constantly, that one person can make a difference.

Implied in this story is that Martin Luther King Jr. was the spokesperson and only person who really mattered in the civil rights  movement. That Gandhi was the the movement for India’s independence. That Nelson Mandela was the leader of the anti-apartheid movement, etc.

But that’s historically inaccurate. There were MILLIONS of people involved in those movements without whom all those mentioned above would have been lone and lonely voices.

One person can’t do much, really.

That’s what communities are for. That’s what movements are for. And any of the big names you could mention of positive change makers (and there are, thankfully, many) were outgrowths of a movement, not the leaders of it. They served the movement, not the other way around.

So who was that woman I talked about?

Well, she was born Alberta Christine Williams. But she died Alberta Christine Williams King.

Her husband was Martin Luther King.

Her son was Martin Luther King Jr.

Her name is not well known and yet, through her son (and in many, many other ways we may never know), she blessed this world.

Without Alberta, there would have been no Martin Luther King Jr.

The lesson here is…

Who’s to say what might or might not happen because you and seemingly small, mundane or common things that you do? With a community behind you, your voice matters.

[you can read the full blog post here: “Why Stop Playing Small is Bullshit]


So no, I’m not a leader, nor do I feel any pressure to be one. The goal isn’t to be bigger than, or a part from…the goal  is to be a part of.

Start building communities. It’s the premise for all movements, all successes, and it opens you up to a world of opportunities.


Tad Hargrave is holding a Workshop – Marketing for Hippies 101 – in Red Deer at the Scott Block Theatre this Thursday, July 21st from 10am – 5pm. It’s an awesome opportunity to learn from a skilled, successful, community-minded marketer who I clearly admire A LOT. You can register here: